Agony Aunt - Of Bullying and Racism

In my year there are 6 Asians, and nearly every single day, we get a racist comment. We get ganged up on by other years, when there are only 5 of us girls together.

We tell the teachers, write statements and do everything we can, but after a week or two, everything is the same again, and it sometimes feels like the teachers don’t believe us and ignore us.

Before the half term, some yr.9’s videoed us and one ran past and pulled one of our scarves. They only do it coz we’re Muslims and we wear scarves, and sometimes during lessons, the whole class goes against us.

Why do white people hate Muslims?? They walk past and call us Pakiz, and if we say something back to them, they say we’re being racist.... coz ov this, we can never really get on with school work coz all that’s on our minds is what they’ve done.

Half of us are trying to find other schools to go to. They don’t do it to the Muslim boys, coz they know they’ll get beaten up, and coz we’re short ‘pakiz’ and girls, they think we wont say anything....HELP!!!!

Dear Sister, asalaam aleikum wa rahmatullah. I am so sorry you are having such a tough time at school.

Does anything remind you of the Prophet’s own time and experience - when young Muslims (and old ones) were laughed at, sneered at, poked and punched and slapped, tormented, despised, and some even wounded and killed? All you are suffering may be because you are Muslim - in which case, your schoolfellows are pretty ignorant sorts!

Sadly, a lot of general public get the idea Muslims are connected with terrorism, or being snobbish or unwilling to join in, or too holy, or all sorts of thing.

It may be racist, because you are Asians, but that seems so old fashioned now, and again, is very ignorant on the part of your schoolfellows.

It may be because you wear hijab - I’m afraid you will have to toughen up and face up to this issue - it is something that could happen for the rest of your lives.

It may be that you decide not to wear it to school (especially if it is an all-girls’ school) and put it on when you leave the premises, but this is up to you. Boys are so lucky that they do not have to wear a special headscarf or outfit to school - they get away with the torment.

Girls always have to be tougher than boys, my dear - just think how they collapse with the slightest cold, and how useless they would be at having the babies!

It may be, however, because there is something in your attitude that is drawing them upon you. If you are always together and not mixing with the others, it will always probably be a problem. I think you need to gently organise yourselves so that you gradually make friends in some way or other with individuals who are not so bad as the worst tormentors.

It may be you that has to start conversations, organise a meal to invite people to for some excuse, a party, anything to try to get to know the better ones. It probably wont cheer you up, but you would also be tormented if you were fat, or disabled, or ugly, or whatever..... I feel sorry for young people who have nothing better to do than make fun of others.

Try not to mind being called a Paki. It really is only short for Pakistani (which to ignorant people probably means anyone who is brown-skinned). I once cheered up an Iranian girl who reported schoolfellows for calling her ‘piggy’. She had not realised they were saying Paki, and couldn’t understand why they got her country wrong anyway. People are pretty stupid!

Just remember that you are Muslims and proud of it. Don’t be arrogant or superior or stuck up; do your best to join in and not mind the insults. The more you show that you mind, the more they will do it. Practise a withering look, and replies like ‘Oh dear- here we go again; another attack from the racist rent-a-mob.’ Try and rise above it all, and not mind. Feel sorry for them, and on the lookout for ways that you can befriend or help them - an opportunity to show willing to be friends.

I wish you all the best. I think you would find objectionable people at any school - I get letters from girls being bullied at all-girl Muslim schools where everyone wears hijab. Just try not to mind, toughen up, and don’t let yourselves get caught in situations where you are on your own and could be bullied. Good luck, God bless.

Wasalaam, Ruqaiyyah.

Editors Note: Wearing a Hijab is not illegal; one should make a record of the abuse they and their friends are suffering from, note down the exact details of what has happened and take the evidence to a senior member of staff (teacher).

If that does not help then seek help from your local Race Equality Partnership and the Race Hate incident unit at your local police station.

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it's no ones fault that u wear the hijab it just how they feel insecure you shouldn't pay attention to them they don't know anything about you. Trust me. they don't

Yes there is racism but they are not worth getting angry at they know nothing about your rules and religion

Everyone is like that since 9/11 but it's not there's to decide is it no one is the boss of you only yourself and your religion don't let them control you. Be yourself and you'll be fine.

I'm a Mexican-American i believe in equal rights just like everyone else